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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Teachers start campaigning FOR Crist because of SB 6



Aron Zions isn't waiting for Gov. Crist to veto SB 6. The U.S. history at Pierce Middle School in Hillsborough is already confident enough in that happening that he's planning to campaign door to door for Crist today. He expects about 15 other teachers to join him.

"I'm appalled as a Republican" at how SB 6 was rammed through by Republican lawmakers, Zions, 49, told The Gradebook. "At least Charlie Crist is stepping up to the plate and saying this bill has some good ideas in it, but it's wrong."

Zions might be a registered Republican, but he said many of his fellow teachers who will campaign with him today are Democrats. He also said a Crist veto will lead more teachers to cross over and either register as Republicans or actively campaign for him in the U.S. Senate primary against Marco Rubio. "I've already 20 people call me and say they're changing parties," Zions said.

A former restaurant owner, Zions ran for the Hillsborough school board in the early 1990s and pushed merit pay as an issue. He still thinks merit pay is a good idea, but says the state needs to take a more thoughtful approach, a la Hillsborough with the program it's moving with the Gates Foundation grant. Because of the grant, Hillsborough is largely exempt from SB 6.

"If you would carve out Hillsborough (in SB 6) because what we're doing is so right, why wouldn't you follow what we're doing?" he said.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:58am]


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